NWF State College’s Walton Works Training Center of Excellence Proposal Marks a Major Milestone with Approval by the Triumph Gulf Coast Board 

Triumph Proposal Walton Works Center of Excellence

NICEVILLE, FL – Northwest Florida State College is excited to announce the Triumph Gulf Coast Board unanimously voted to approve the Walton Works Training Center of Excellence project at its meeting on April 29. The Triumph Gulf Coast Board’s action moves the proposal forward from economic review to term sheet review. The Walton Works project includes career and education initiatives and expansions to be offered at the College’s Chautauqua Center in DeFuniak Springs, Walton County. Over the next five years, the College projects northwest Florida residents will earn at least 1,570 industry-recognized certificates. The Triumph Gulf Coast Board committed $2,763,716, representing 48.2 percent of the $5.7 million project.

The Walton Works project will establish a Center of Excellence for 10 new workforce programs, preparing students to earn industry-recognized credentials including state licenses and certifications. The project will expand career education programs in public safety (law enforcement, fire, emergency medical technician (EMT)), cybersecurity, drone technology, and building trades (plumbing, electrical, welding, millwright and construction). The Walton Works project will provide industrial lab space, an indoor drone facility, and a fire tower to meet area training needs. By 2024, a minimum of 1,570 industry-recognized certifications would be awarded at a cost of $3,652 per certification.

“The College is pleased the Triumph Gulf Coast Board has chosen to invest in the Walton Works project,” said Dr. Devin Stephenson, president. “The Walton Works Training Center of Excellence will position the region for quality growth and enhance workforce, economic and community development opportunities throughout northwest Florida.”

The College has partnered with the Walton County Board of County Commissioners who committed $1.5 million to the Walton Works project. Walton County Board of Commissioners directed staff to use funding from the RESTORE Act Pot 1 funds to fund the County’s portion of the project. In addition, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the College to provide access to training facilities (firing range and driving range) in DeFuniak Springs for students in the Law Enforcement, Fire and EMT programs to develop skills. CareerSource Okaloosa Walton will provide placement assistance to employers and job seekers. The partnership between Walton County Board of Commissions, Walton County Sheriff’s Office, CareerSource Okaloosa Walton, and the Triumph Gulf Coast Board affirms the collaboration and commitment of these entities to expand career education across northwest Florida.

About Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc.

Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., is a nonprofit corporation organized to oversee the expenditure of 75 percent of all funds recovered by the Florida attorney general for economic damages to the state that resulted from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., is required to administer the distribution of the funds to be used for the recovery, diversification, and enhancement of the eight Northwest Florida counties disproportionately affected by the oil spill. Those counties include Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, Franklin and Wakulla. www.myfloridatriumph.com

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